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Author Topic:   Navigation Lamp Wiring on Boston Whaler
doctor d posted 02-23-2014 11:39 AM ET (US)   Profile for doctor d   Send Email to doctor d  
[A 1963 Boston Whaler 13-foot boat has] wires at the stern and at the bow. Nothing at the console. [I am] not sure if [this is the] original wiring, but [this wiring] doesn't appear to be a retro-fit as the wires are in the hull. [What, if] any[,] thoughts [do readers have about the this wiring being the original wiring of this boat]? Were the lamps originally wired directly to the battery with no switch on the console? Can I simply take that approach to get the navigation lights functioning?
jimh posted 02-23-2014 11:48 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Questions about the wiring for navigation lamps on older Boston Whaler boats were frequently asked, so an answer has been prepared for them. See:

Q4: How Do I Repair the Wiring for the Combined Sidelights at the Bow?

jimh posted 02-23-2014 11:50 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
The description given by d of the wiring in the 1963 Boston Whaler 13-foot boat correlates very well with the original configuration of the wiring for Boston Whaler boats of that epoch. On that basis, my opinion is the wiring is original.
17 bodega posted 03-04-2014 03:24 PM ET (US)     Profile for 17 bodega  Send Email to 17 bodega     
My 1970 model 13 has what appears to be solid core wire, much like old telephone wire on the starboard inner stern sump area. The wires are no longer good so I plan to try to stuff new wires inside the rub rail... the other thing owners elect to do is run the wire underneath the rub rail in the lower "lip" where the upper and lower half of the foam sandwich meet.
skred posted 03-05-2014 10:33 AM ET (US)     Profile for skred  Send Email to skred     
Interestingly, my 1987 Sport 13 tiller-steer was produced without nav lights. I am replacing the entire rub rail assembly. Having pulled part of the portside rub rail insert out, I discovered there is NO wiring under the insert, although the small exit hole in the port stern area is present. Pulling the small red plug in the access port on the bow, I also found no wiring, or evidence of wiring. I realize it's possible that the rub rail has already been replaced once, but the rivet attachments certainly appear original, as does the insert.
I am not trying to hijack this thread, but, I do have a question. The bow and stern lights I am installing are going to be installed using LED style bulbs. Due to the lower power draw, do I still need to use AWG 16 wire?
jimh posted 03-05-2014 10:49 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
I believe that the ABYC recommended practice is for 16-AWG as a minimum. I don't think there is much concern about a cost difference. I am guessing you might be concerned about the conductor size and fitting it into a tight space.

In wire manufacturing the size of the insulation often varies from brand to brand. Some brands tend to have much more insulation than others. Perhaps looking carefully at the brand will get a wire with smaller insulation.

If you changed to a smaller wire (higher AWG number) there would probably not be a problem with voltage drop for the power needed to run a few LED lamps. An 18-AWG cable of 12-feet or less can deliver power with less than 3-percent voltage drop for a maximum current of 2.3-Amperes.


doctor d posted 03-09-2014 09:46 AM ET (US)     Profile for doctor d  Send Email to doctor d     
I finally tested the thru hull wiring in my 63 'sport' (converted to 'Standard'). 51 years later...wiring is perfect. Now the question for me is where to mount a switch. Any idea where the nav light switch would have originally been mounted on a 13 Standard? The stern light wires come out of the starboard transom. thanks a lot.
Tom W Clark posted 03-09-2014 12:14 PM ET (US)     Profile for Tom W Clark  Send Email to Tom W Clark     
The switch goes on the console.

You'll want to use a Cole-Hersee M-531 switch if you want a switch like Whaler used.

dfmcintyre posted 03-09-2014 12:34 PM ET (US)     Profile for dfmcintyre  Send Email to dfmcintyre     
Expanding on the great advice above from Tom, that model allows for the switch to either be off, or just one terminal hot (for anchor light) or on both terminals (for anchor and bow light) to be hot. And when wiring, use ring terminals rather then just raw wiring or the split ring; either of the latter can fall off over time with vibration.

Regards - Don

doctor d posted 03-10-2014 09:15 PM ET (US)     Profile for doctor d  Send Email to doctor d     
correct me if I'm wrong, but the standard model doesn't have a console...right? if so, where was the light switch mounted. Did they use an inline switch off the battery? I converted my 63 Sport to a standard...moved the seats back and removed the console.
Tom W Clark posted 03-10-2014 09:24 PM ET (US)     Profile for Tom W Clark  Send Email to Tom W Clark     
The Standard model did not typically have navigation lights installed, but when it did, the switch was installed on a mahogany dash panel attached to the starboard seat clamp.
doctor d posted 03-10-2014 10:04 PM ET (US)     Profile for doctor d  Send Email to doctor d     
thanks Tom. you're the man. i'll find just the right spot and report back.
jimh posted 03-11-2014 08:24 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
I am surprised at the amount of time that 13-foot Boston Whaler boats spend at anchor after dark in water where display of navigation lighting is needed.
doctor d posted 03-12-2014 12:19 PM ET (US)     Profile for doctor d  Send Email to doctor d     
One more question for the new motor (1986 25hp Merc)is electric start (stylin'...right?) So, between that and navigation lights, i'll be needing a battery for the first time. Someone suggested a lawn tractor battery since they are much smaller and lighter. Do they make a marine battery that size? Will that provide me with sufficient amperage?
Chuck Tribolet posted 03-12-2014 01:06 PM ET (US)     Profile for Chuck Tribolet  Send Email to Chuck Tribolet     
If they don't make a marine battery that size, they do make
AGM motorcycle batteries. Adm. Linda has one on here big


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